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Antimicrobial peptides in cosmetics

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Antimicrobial peptides, also known as anti-microbial peptides (AMPs), are a class of biologically active peptides with broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity, which are widely found in animals, plants, and microorganisms as a natural defense mechanism. Antimicrobial peptides have many advantages, such as low toxicity, low immunogenicity, rapid sterilization, and difficulty in developing drug resistance.

Antimicrobial peptides
Antimicrobial peptides
  1. The APD3 database, maintained by the University of Nebraska, contains more than 2,500 antimicrobial peptides;
    2, DRAMP database records 17,349 antimicrobial peptide sequences, including 4,571 common sequences, 12,704 antimicrobial peptide sequences that have been patented and 74 antimicrobial peptides that are under drug development;
    3, BaAMPs contains about 200 antimicrobial peptides with anti-biofilm activity .

With the deepening of research on antimicrobial peptides, novel antimicrobial peptides and their sequences have been continuously discovered and reported.

I. Antimicrobial peptide family

Based on tertiary deconstruction, common antimicrobial peptides can be categorized into six main groups:
1) Linear-helical peptides;
(2) Cyclic peptides, which usually form a β-folded structure with two or more disulfide bonds;
(3) Both α-helical and β-folded structures, which are stabilized by disulfide bonds;
4) form a hairpin or ring structure with disulfide bonds within the molecule;
5) linear peptides containing repeated amino acid sequences;
6) short peptides with no order;

II. Mechanism of action of antimicrobial peptides

Antimicrobial peptides have many different biological functions. At present, the mechanism of action of antimicrobial peptides is mainly categorized into two types: membrane-damaging and non-membrane-damaging.
Membrane-damaged mechanism of action includes carpet model, barrel model, ring pore model, etc. It is generally believed that the antimicrobial peptide is adsorbed on the surface of the cell membrane through electrostatic action, and the physicochemical properties of the antimicrobial peptide and the composition of the cell membrane are the main factors affecting the interaction between the two.
Compared with the membrane-damaging type, the mechanism of action of the non-membrane-damaging type is less studied than the proud one, mainly including: 1. Binding to DNA and inhibiting the transcription/replication of DNA; 2. Inhibiting protein synthesis and folding; 3. Inhibiting the formation of the cell wall, and so on.

III. Application of antimicrobial agents in cosmetics

Cationic antimicrobials have been discovered for the first time in the aspergillus since 1980 by Steiner et al. In the past decades, the unique structure and multiple mechanisms of action of antimicrobial peptides have been gradually studied and analyzed. Up to now, antimicrobial peptides have been used in medicine, disease transmission, food industry, agriculture, cosmetics and other fields. The following summarizes the main uses of antimicrobial peptides in the cosmetic industry.

1、As a preservative

Antimicrobial peptide can inhibit the growth of microorganisms in cosmetics, and it has a good inhibition effect on the common gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria in cosmetics, and it has no toxic side effects on human body. The experimental results show that the: antimicrobial activity of the antimicrobial peptide is significantly better than that of nipagin methyl ester. A company’s N2, for example, shampoo to kill Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa effectiveness than nipagin methyl ester 7 times higher and 5 times, and the required concentration is much lower than nipagin methyl ester.
2, as anti-inflammatory acne ingredients
Research shows that antimicrobial peptide has the ability to regulate sebum secretion, and has a good inhibitory effect on bacteria such as Propionibacterium acnes, acne, pimples and other preventive and therapeutic very effective, and safe and non-stimulating. And the antimicrobial peptide has a wide range of applications, and can be used with most of the cosmetic raw materials with good compatibility.
3、As an anti-dandruff ingredient
Studies have shown that after 28 days of continuous use of shampoo with antimicrobial peptide, the microenvironment of the scalp has been improved, the number of Malassezia bacteria has a tendency to decrease, and the redness and itching of the scalp caused by the expansion of the capillaries has also been alleviated.

IV. Summary and outlook

At present, there have been more studies on the application of the discovered antimicrobial peptides in various industries, but the mechanism of action and the relationship between the mechanism of action and the structure are still unclear. Especially in the field of cosmetics, antimicrobial peptides have only been shown in toothpaste products for the record.

Nevertheless, the subtlety of nature lies in the fact that as the environment changes, the organisms develop and evolve accordingly. Even if the antimicrobial peptide has multiple mechanisms of action and multiple targets, the microorganisms in the environment where the antimicrobial peptide acts will gradually evolve. We believe that in the future, with the development of science and technology and biotechnology becoming more and more perfect, we will have a more accurate understanding of the mechanism of action of antimicrobial peptides, but also from a variety of organisms to obtain more highly active and safe antimicrobial peptides, antimicrobial peptide value in the cosmetic industry will be better utilized.

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Antimicrobial peptides in cosmetics

Antimicrobial peptides, also known as anti-microbial peptides (AMPs), are a class of biologically active peptides with broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity, which are widely found in animals, plants, and microorganisms as a natural defense mechanism. Antimicrobial peptides have many advantages, such as low toxicity, low immunogenicity, rapid sterilization, and difficulty in developing drug resistance. With the deepening

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